politicizing human tragedy inhuman, Patnaik tells Assembly

Bhubaneswar, Nov 22 (PTI) Amid the ongoing ruckus created by opposition MLAs in the Assembly over the mysterious death of a woman panchayat official, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday said politicizing human tragedy relating to women is 'inhuman'.

Patnaik said this while replying to the debate on the supplementary statement of expenditure of the Home department in the Assembly.

'Politicising any human tragedy especially relating to women is inhuman,' he said in response to the opposition members' allegation on the rise of crimes against women, particularly the death of the woman panchayat official in Jajpur district.

During a debate, Leader of Opposition Pardipta Naik of the BJP and Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra referred to the panchayat official's death case and accused the state government of shielding the culprits claiming that ruling BJD leaders were involved in it.

In his reply, Patnaik tried to keep politics out of the case.

'Today, I am not going to make a regular statement.

Forget that I am a chief minister of 19 years or that I am president of the Biju Janata Dal. This kind of politics will never give any return.

'We are a mature democracy. We represent four and a half crore people of Odisha. Let us set high standards of political discourse both in the Assembly and outside,' he said.

Describing rape and murder and other crimes against women as 'extremely sad events', the chief minister said politicizing them multiplies the trauma and gives a very wrong message to the people at large and young people in particular.

In case anyone is not satisfied with the probe, he or she can move court, Patnaik said.

'Let me assure you that any neglect against cases especially relating to women and children will not be spared and exemplary action would be taken,' he said.

Patnaik said at least four culprits were given capital punishments in the rape and murder cases of minors due to prompt and professional investigation.

In a strong message to the police, he said, 'Do your job with commitment, without fear or favour. Do not bother about statistics of registration of cases. For my government, people are more important than statistics.' He claimed that the overall law and order and crime situation was largely under control.

Patnaik made an announcement that by August next year, people will have a choice whether or not to visit a government office for any service or entitlement.

The people will get online service through a common service centre or doorstep delivery, the chief minister said.

The next big transformation the state government would like to achieve is payment of wages through banks in all the works, he told the Assembly.

Earlier, BJP and Congress members demanded a CBI probe or a court monitored SIT investigation into the death of the woman panchayat official.

The panchayat extension officer of Jajpur district, Smitarani Biswal, was found hanging at a private guest house on October 16. PTI AAM NN NN